|The Blossom Festival|
"Werder is Werder"
"A small Mark Brandenburg island city, washed around by the sometimes turbulent, sometimes smooth as glass, waters of the river Havel. The latter extends like lakes, lined by a wreath of hills with sylvan heights that are covered with snow twice a year. Mother Holle makes it snow in winter; a white, soft blanket of flower dreams in spring."
This is what the Mark Brandenburg guidebook already said 74 years ago.
And so, already for the 131th time, our city of Werder upon Havel celebrate the Blossom Festival from the 24th of April to the 2rd of May 2010.
At the board meeting of the fruit-growers association on the 13th March 1879, Mr Wilhelm Wils proposed to publish the blossoming of trees in Berlin newspapers in order to attract nature lovers and to ensure the provision of a special train and volunteer guides. The proposal was accepted, agreed upon and put into practice within the same year.
In the end, two special trains were provided, resulting in thousands of visitors on Blossom Sunday in the first year alone.
Many fruit-growers awaited visitors at the station of Werder upon Havel, acting as guides in order to show them the most beautiful places of Werder.
"Why pave the street when it only attracts the attention of nosy parkers."
Hoher Weg around 1900
View from the Bismarckhöhe around 1910
In the first couple of years, the Blossom Festival took place when the fruit trees were actually blooming. It was mainly celebrated on one or several Sundays.
The opening of the Blossom Festival was always the first Sunday after the trees started blossoming and the main Sunday was called “Golden Sunday”. Usually this was the first Sunday in May.
When the trees are in bloom, their twigs have always sold well.
The Blossom Festival has always been quite “rustic” from the start, a hearty gulp from a bottle of fruit wine blurred the beauty of nature to the eye. Wine from Werder has always been said to be particularly strong.
"Fruit wine is the best medicine, the more you drink it, the more you get used to it."
In the course of 130 years, the Blossom Festival has become well-known far beyond the surrounding area of Werder, which is also confirmed by the constantly increasing number of visitors.
|Visitors to the Blossom Festival on "Golden Sunday"
10,000 visitors came to Werder in 1893, 25,000 in 1897 and around 50,000 on this particular Sunday in 1900.
"Berliners flock in, where cherries ring"
Werder has always been very far away (Janz weit Draußen) for Berliners. After the wall came down in 1989, Werder and its Blossom Festival were once again open to all Berliners. The more the Blossom Festival gained fame, the more visitors came. Another tradition was revived in 1989, when a Blossom Queen was elected for the first time since 1936. That is how it came about that a Blossom Queen has been chosen at the annual Blossom Ball for 20 years now, representing our city in many areas throughout the year.
In 1979, a traditional procession for the 100th anniversary of the Blossom Festival took place. Around 5,000 participants from businesses and associations from Werder took part.
The procession was opened by many young people in traditional dress and carrying garden tools from times long passed.
It was a beautiful and colourful sight that showed 100 years of Blossom Festival and more than 200 years of fruit-growing in the Havel region.
In 1997, for the first time, the Blossom Festival was officially opened by a procession of associations, schools and other interested people from Werder. In their midst, they accompanied the newly elected Blossom Queen and the city’s mayor to the main stage. The Blossom Festival is an experience which goes far beyond merely visiting the many stalls and stages around the island. The young and elderly alike will have a good time at numerous events. Click here to have a look at our calendar of events (in German).
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calendar of events 2012